Over 1 in 6 veterinarians in the US has thought about committing suicide, according to the CDC, and many said they commonly experience feelings of hopelessness, depression and other mental health issues. The causes include having high stress, dealing with ill and dying animals, facing difficult pet owners and having high debt paired with relatively low pay compared with dentists and physicians. Veterinarians who have found balance in their own lives urge their colleagues to pursue interests outside the clinic, develop relaxation strategies and raise awareness of the challenges veterinarians face.
Veterinarians play an important role in how clients handle the pain of loss when a pet must be euthanized, according to Ontario Veterinary College researcher Alisha Matte, who is conducting a survey to better understand veterinarians' euthanasia practices. So far, she's found that veterinarians are invested in easing clients' grief by personalizing the experience and using more delicate terminology when discussing the process.
Obesity among pets may constitute an epidemic, and it's causing an uptick in other health problems, including a soaring number of claims for arthritis, UK-based pet insurer Animal Friends found. Veterinarian Sean Wensley, president of the British Veterinary Association, said people are increasingly choosing good-quality foods but feeding in excessive quantities as well as giving pets high-calorie human foods as treats.
A recent study found that dogs respond to intonation as well as words themselves to interpret human speech, and they do so using similar brain activity to humans. Researchers say the underlying capability they detected in dogs may be present in other mammals, since it likely dates back to a common ancestor of humans and dogs, but other mammals -- such as cats -- simply may not be as interested in tuning into human speech.
Research presented at a British Psychological Society conference found that young children are able to recognize an angry dog, but may be less able to recognize happy or frightened dogs, and they are unaware that a frightened dog may unsafe. The study suggests dog-bite education should focus on the signs and dangers of fearful dogs, said researcher Sarah Rose.
Colorado wildlife officials are reminding pet owners that rattlesnakes pose a pet health risk through November. Colorado Springs resident Jeff Marshall learned that the hard way after his service dog Eris was bitten on the nose by a rattlesnake, although the dog is recovering thanks to prompt emergency veterinary care.
Veterinarians Kelly O'Connell and James Garvin recently got married, and despite a brain tumor and failing health, Charlie the dog survived long enough to join the wedding party. Charlie was able to walk down the aisle but had to be carried back, and the couple said goodbye to him nine days later. "The amount of love these people have for their animals is enough to restore anyone's faith in humanity," wrote wedding photographer Jen Dziuvenis.
The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.
Mark Caine, writer
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